07 Apr Jonathan Adler and His Road To Success
JONATHAN ADLER AND HIS ROAD TO SUCCESS
As someone whose path to interior design has not been the most linear, I love to hear about other designers' rise to success and how they made their way to this community I adore. I've always had a keen interest in Johnathan Adler; known for his exuberant personality and eclectic, refined taste, he is now a pillar in the industry. He sat down with fellow New Yorker Bethany Frankle on her new podcast, Just B, to discuss his rise to success!
Johnathan got his start making pottery and considered becoming a professional potter but he was worried the path would be too mundane and traditional. He tried his hand at a few other professions, like office work and movies, but nothing stuck. After trying them all, he was brought back to his original passion of pottery and started his business in Brooklyn. He got his first order from Barney's, and slowly began expansion from there but had no direct path for growing his business. Little did he know, that first order from Barneys would later launch a well-known brand.
He takes inspiration from his upbringing and relatives. He noted, "I had a very groovy grandmother who is sort of an Auntie Mame type of person. And I remember I would go to her house, and she had fabulous tastes, and I would pick up an object, and it would be completely riveting and inspirational and transformational." Adler aspired to create pieces of his own the evoked the same sentiments. He is always trying to push the envelope in his work strives to make new and forward-thinking things. He has dubbed his brand "modern American glamor," interlaced with optimism, possibility, and glamour.
Adler then went on to talk about how his success has been made possible by his team, noting, "When I started, it was me, a lump of clay, which is essentially just earth, water, and fire. You know, making pots is extremely elemental and basic. It's primitive even. And I was quite primitive. But I'm incredibly grateful for my team who has helped bring me into this world."
What has defined Adlers success were his roots in the arts. He is an incredibly talented potter who loved the trade. He wasn't a formal business person or designer, and the possibility of lingered, but he forged forward in his work and created a name and brand that so many love today. As Bethany noted, "there are many successful and talented and a deep architectural digest published designers, but you can't name that many that have an actual brand." Jonathan has done just that. He has created an evolving brand, thriving, desirable, and interesting because it is interlaced with both quality and fun.